New Lighting for the Bridgeport Milling Machine

 

 

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One of the things that bug most people as they get older is poor lighting in the shop. If you want any degree of accuracy when doing the work we do; you will need good light, and (in my case) some magnification. A few weeks ago I got what I considered a fair deal on medical magnifier with florescent lighting. It has a 5X diopter lens, and I really liked it from the start. I mounted it above my lathe, and it really helps when doing “close” work.

 

 

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I checked back to the original listing on Ebay to see if the place had any more, and found they had more and had dropped the price! I bought two more; one for the mill, and one for the bench. Mounting one on the Bridgeport might be a little more involved than just using the factory mount, and I would have to make one up from stock I had laying around. I had a light on the mill (original Bridgeport, I think), but was never really thrilled with it and thought this might be just the solution to the problem.

First thing was to make some kind of bracket to mount the receiver for the base of the lamp. I had some flat cold rolled lying around, and started fitting it together. The previous owner of the mill had mounted the BP mount at kind of a weird angle, so machining the receiver out of a block of aluminum seemed like overkill. I also needed the base to be spaced out a couple of inches from the base of the mill. This is the way the bracket will sit due to the angle of the base.

 

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Next I bored some round stock to receive the stud on the lamp base. This had to be done with two drills, to accommodate two shaft diameters.

 

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This will give you an idea of what I needed. This will give it a tight register to the receiver.

 

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Snug fit, now all is left is to trim it, and install a set screw to lock the stud in place.

 

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Now that the receiver is done, all that is needed is to weld the mess all together.

 

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The finished mount, with the standard around this shop: Rustoleum Smoke Grey.

 

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And with the lamp mounted. I still have to wire up a gang box with some extra plugs for the DRO I’ve been “planning” to mount for some time. Its on my “To-Do list”.

 

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The magnification on these things is great (as well as the additional light). It doesn’t really show up when you take pics, but works like a champ in the shop.

 

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MUCH better than an 60 watt incandescent bulb and no magnification!

 

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Heres the one I put over my lathe………………………………..

 

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And the one over my bench. I really wasn’t hurting for light so much as I just wanted the magnification. I suppose I’ll have to scrounge up some spare bulbs for these lamps. I’m really happy with these lights, and I’m sure I’ll be using them alot in the future.

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